Friday, July 4, 2014

Back on the Trail!

Happy Fourth of July!

We are celebrating the day we threw down our Red Coats in possibly the most "American" place in the country, Lander, WY.  Since the parade ended this morning there has been an endless barrage of sparklers, bottle rockets, mortars, shells, artillery, and possibly tank fire, all in the name of freedom. Seriously, there has not been a span of more than 10 seconds without some sort of crack or boom or shriek.  It has actually been pretty incredible how involved the town is in the Holiday. I have not seen such mass participation in an event since the release of the last Harry Potter book in Oxford.

Anyway, the last week was a whirlwind.  Last Saturday I made a last minute decision and jumped in the Northland Hospice 5k in Flagstaff as a last hurrah and ended up winning by a couple minutes before heading to work.  Meanwhile Sara cranked out two huge paintings for a couple coworkers.  Her paintings are incredible so if you ever need a new piece to hang on your wall give her a call.

After that we began frantically packing our apartment and stressing about prepping for resuming the CDT.  For the hike last year we spent almost a whole year looking at maps and gathering stuff we needed.  This year we took Monday night through Wednesday morning interspersed with moving our apartment into two friends' garages.  But, we got it done.

Wednesday afternoon we were able to leave Flagstaff for the last time as residents.  It was a bittersweet moment for both of us.  Flagstaff has been our home for most of our lives.  We both grew up as locals and experienced the town as kids.  Then after college we both moved back, made great friends (really great friends), saw the town turn into a city, and have very fond memories of the trails, pubs, and people.  While it was difficult to watch the Peaks disappear in the review mirror, we are also incredibly excited for our next adventure on trail and in Missoula.
Sara's painting of Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase

We arrived in Lander yesterday afternoon and are fortunate enough to have Evan and Amber put us up for a couple nights.  I jumped in the half marathon this morning, because why not race the day before we begin hiking again?  I was actually very responsible, kind of, and only raced the first six miles before backing off and running the last downhill half of the race at a tempo pace while talking to Evan on the bike.  This did mean that first place pulled away a little, but I held on for second and am not too beat up to hike.

The four of us then hung out downtown a while and after an ice cream breakfast watched the parade.  Despite seeing entirely too many political floats it was still fun to see the entire town of Lander out.  The end of the parade was marked by a fleet of fire trucks dousing an intersection with thousands of gallons of water from their water cannons.  Everyone seemed in a great mood and was able to cool off after 90 minutes of sitting in the sun.

Since then Landerites have been blasting the sky with fireworks.  As it's getting darker the frequency has increased to the point where it sounds like the background shooting in an epic war movie.  We have no idea how we will be able to sleep tonight.  Hitting the trail tomorrow will seem more quiet than normal.

Tomorrow we're back on the trail!  After nearly a year of waiting we will be back on the Continental Divide Trail.  We're starting at Big Sandy trailhead near the south end of the Wind Rivers and heading north towards Glacier National Park (roughly 1000 miles).  We were able to check out the snow conditions yesterday, from a distance, as we drove in from the West and it looked much more hike-able than flying over last month.  There will definitely still be snow but with our Kahtoola Microspikes and hiking poles we should be okay for most sections.  We just finished going through our packs and got the last bit of food so we should be ready to go.

Our fitness levels, however, may be questionable.  I have been running a lot more than last year, but have been hiking less.  Sara has spent a lot more time on the river and less time running and hiking.  Without the specificity of training both of us are expecting to hurt quite a bit this first section.

All-in-all though we are very excited to resume our trek.  Last year our hike was cut short quite abruptly and neither of us were prepared to be done (aside from wanting to figure out why I was dying).  We had some unfinished business that we are now able to take care of, hopefully with fewer incidents than last year.  I also still need to find a wolf puppy, which is really my main goal of hiking.

We will be resupplying at most of the same projected spots as last year, but we did change some. For most of the Montana resupplies we are mailing boxes to ourselves rather than hitching into towns.  Below is a tentative schedule of when we will be where.  Keep in mind this is very tentative pending our fitness and potential off days.

Starting out at Big Sandy (Wind Rivers)      July 5th.
Arriving Brooks Lake Lodge                       July 11th.
Arriving Old Faithful                                  July 18th
Arriving Lima/Targhee Pass                      July 23rd
Arriving Leadore                                       July 28th (my parents should be here)
Arriving Sula/Lost Trail Pass                     August 1st
Arriving Anaconda                                    August 4th
Arriving Helena/MacDonald Pass              August 9th
Arriving Benchmark Ranch                       August 15th
Arriving East Glacier                                August 20th
Arrive Waterton Lakes                              August 25th-ish (could drop this last section for
                                                                              now to make a wedding in LA)

Arrival DateLocationAddress
7/16/2014Old Faithful VillageForrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
c/o General Delivery
Old Faithful
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
7/23/2014LimaSara Hooker & Forrest Bougher
c/o Mountain View Motel
P.O. Box 277
Lima, MT 59739
7/28/2014LeadoreForrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
General Delivery
Leadore, ID 83464
8/2/2014Lost Trail Pass-SulaSara Hooker & Forrest Boughner
c/o Sula Country Store & Resort
7060 US Highway 93 South
Sula, MT 59871
8/6/2014AnacondaForrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
General Delivery
Anaconda, MT 59711
8/9/2014EllistonForrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
General Delivery
Elliston, MT 59728
8/14/2014Benchmark RanchSara Hooker & Forrest Boughner
c/o Darwin & Shellie Heckman
$25 fee to hold boxes422 County Line Road
Fairfield MT 59436
We will update our blog as much as possible, but it could be a few weeks as internet will be quite intermittent.  

Happy Trails!

The return of:

Track and Field


  1. I was just talking to some visitors about you two today. They were telling me about a bike race on the CDT. And I told them about you two. Although I really don't know you two, I'm happy to be back on the trail with you. Forrest did sell me my first quality running shoes to get me on the right path to running my first (and last) 1/2 marathon and I am thankful for that. So excited that you are heading back out on the trail. Good luck.

    For you last adventure I sent a couple of packages. The last one went to Lima I'm pretty sure. How long they hold them. HAHA. If you check in, let me know what you like in your boxes or any of their friends reading this. I will try to get one out soon.

    Hike on....

    1. Thanks for continuing to follow us Sara! I hope your shoes are still working out for you. We are very excited to be hiking again.

      We loved the trail magic packages last year and we will definitely ask in Lima if they have anything in the back gathering dust for us. We enjoy pretty much anything in the boxes that we can consume. Notes, letters, etc. are awesome as well. Just comments on the blog are great though as well!

      Happy trails.


  2. Glad you two made it back to the trail.Look forward to your posts. Happy trails.